Wiltshire Council’s area boards have been involved with or supported a range of projects in the south of the county recently. These range from keeping residents healthy, supporting people through the cost-of-living crisis and providing activities for young people.
Area boards are a way of working to bring local decision making into the heart of the community. There are 18 area boards across Wiltshire, with each one holding delegated powers and devolved budgets to facilitate community action at a local level.
They work alongside other organisations on local priorities in the community. These groups can include town and parish councils, voluntary and community groups, youth organisations, sports clubs and local charities.
Commenting on the recent activity, Cllr Ashley O’Neill, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for communities and area boards, said: “All our area boards have provided support and played a key role on a wide range of important local priorities and issues recently, such as the cost-of-living crisis and supporting positive activities for young people.
“Due to their position in the local community, our area boards are ideally placed to coordinate and bring together local support in order to provide services and initiatives where they are needed most, and I’m really pleased to see positive outcomes right across the county.”
The work of the area boards plays a key role in helping the council achieve its Business Plan priorities, such as ‘supporting Wiltshire to be a place where we stay active’ and ‘live well together’.
In the south of the county, the boards have supported the following projects:
The Salisbury and Southern Wiltshire Area Boards awarded funding for the development of The Underground Studios in Harnham.
This will drive forward the priority of youth engagement and positive activities for young people aged 13 to 19-years-old, and up to 25-years-old for those with special educational needs and/or disabilities.
This is a collaborative space that is home to creative projects and initiatives, established primarily for the benefit of the young people of the area but also the wider community of creative people.
In the 12 months since launching, the projects developed and coordinated at the venue have supported more than 100 young people to learn new skills, develop existing ones and have access to training and equipment used by professionals.
The South West Wiltshire Area Board has been working closely with Wilton Men’s Shed, which has gone from strength to strength since receiving funding.
There are now 21 members and sessions run three times a week: Monday, Thursdays and Saturday from 9.30am to 12.30pm.
The shed is a community space that provides a fully equipped workshop, promoting social inclusion, skill sharing, well-being and friendship.
It undertakes creative projects for the benefit of the local community and offers a repairs service for everyday items too.
An Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) has been installed at the Catholic Church of Christ the King in Amesbury for the benefit of all residents in the Amesbury community area, following partnership working through the Stonehenge Area Board.
The board has part-funded the AED, awarding £1,600 from the community grants funding this year, along with further contributions from church members, nearby residents and local merchants. This enabled the AED and a lockable cabinet to be provided.
According to Southwest Ambulance Service, a defibrillator should be located within 200 metres of an incident, if it to be of any use, so this new location serves the church, community hall, The Cloisters and Countess Court where there are 50 retirement residences, the houses in Lords Croft and in Lower London Road.
The South West Wiltshire Area Board has recently awarded funding to Seeds4Success to help strengthen the local priority of youth engagement.
Due to this funding, the delivery of new activities including art therapy, counselling and trampolining have started this year at the Nadder Centre for young people of secondary school age.
Seeds4Success is a youth work charity based in Mere. It provides opportunities for personal and social development for young people living in south west Wiltshire.
The new sessions have been developed as a result of engaging and listening to the views of the young people to identify what they would like and need each week.
Each week up to 30 young people will take part in these activities, as well as accessing the fitness suite and playing sports, with the main aim of improving their health and well-being.
The sessions are free of charge and transport is provided from a number of locations across the area, ensuring that barriers are overcome for young people to join in.
For more information email email@example.com or call 07585723824.